16,7 million inhabitants
Following higher education: 40%
State universities: 14
Tuition fee for 1 year at state university: 1.750 euro / 2.220 US dollars
GDP per capita: 31.700 euro / 40.300 US Dollars
Life expectancy at birth: 79 years
Students pay a tuition fee, but at the same time receive a grant from the government. Part of the grant is equally high for all students, but youngsters from poor families are entitled to some extra money. The first four years of their study the money can be seen as a gift. During the other years of the study the grant turns into a loan. Recent research shows that it takes decades, before the students pay back the loan, and the debt produces problems when they want to buy a house or apply for a mortgage.